Struggle evident in 'Frankenstein'

Victor Frankenstein (Brad King, left) is threatened by his creation (Jerry West) in Frankenstein: A New Musical.

Brad King has long been a fan of musical theater and Frankenstein.


"Frankenstein has been one of my favorite classics since I started reading classic literature. I was 15 when I read it, and I wanted to write a musical based on it."

He never wrote that musical, but the next best thing happened. He was cast as Victor in Frankenstein: A New Musical.

Aiken Community Playhouse opens its 2010-11 season Friday with the South Carolina premier of the show.

The musical sticks closer to Mary Shelley's original work than the famous Universal movies, which is one of the things that appealed to director Danny Lee.

"It's really about acceptance. Like in the book, the creature is trying to find acceptance in a world where he just doesn't belong," Lee said.

Jerry West, who plays The Creature, said he grew up with the Hollywood version of Frankenstein -- Boris Karloff's big, green creature.

"When I got the role, people kept asking if I was going to be green, with bolts sticking out of my neck. I saw clips of the Broadway version and thought the creature was actually a little too good-looking. He spent a lot of time with his shirt off," West said.

In the musical, as in the book, Victor's creation is more human.

"As The Creature, I have this struggle every time I kill someone," West said.

"I wonder why I can't stop."

"No question about it; this is a tragedy," King said. "It's a case of overinflated ambition with the best of intentions turning out very, very wrong."

If you go

WHAT: Frankenstein: A New Musical, an Aiken Community Playhouse production

WHERE: URS Center for the Performing Arts, 126 Newberry St. S.W., Aiken

WHEN: Friday, Saturday and Sept. 16, 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 19 at 3 p.m.

TICKETS: $20 adults, $18 seniors, $15 students, $9 children under 12 (might be disturbing for children.)

LEARN MORE: (803) 648-1438,

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what: Dearly Beloved, a Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre production
when: Friday and Saturday and Sept. 17-18, 23-25; dinner at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
where: Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, Building 32100, Third Avenue
DETAILS: Tickets are $38 for civilians; $36 for seniors (65 and older), military retirees, DA civilians, active duty E7 & above; $30 for E6 and below; show only is $25; reservations and information, (706) 793-8552

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What: Young Artists Repertory Theater Company presents Bugsy Malone
WHEN: 8 p.m., Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Augusta Prep Hull Fine Arts Center, 285 Flowing Wells Road, Martinez
DETAILS: $12; (706) 829-1325

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What: The Bartow Community Club Schoolhouse Players present The Foreigner
WHEN: 8 p.m. today through Saturday, and Sept. 17-18, 3 p.m. Sept. 19
WHERE: Mancin Auditorium, Bartow Community Center
Details: $10 adults, $5 ages 12 and under; (478) 364-3340

practice for your performances

What: The Augusta Players presents a Master Class with Willy Falk, the Tony Award-nominated actor, who will be performing in Miss Saigon
When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday
where: Beverly Barnhart Theatre at Davidson Fine Arts School
DETAILS: Mr. Falk will work with 10 local musical theater performers providing insight and tips on their singing and interpretation. There is no cost to attend, but donations will be accepted; (706) 826-4707,